Girls in Green prepare for Sweden Clash
The Republic of Ireland are in Gothenburg for a potentially crucial Women’s World Cup qualifier.
Injuries have deprived Vera Pauw of a host of frontline players for this evening’s game with the world’s number-2 ranked side, Sweden.
Kick-off is at 5.30pm and captain Katie McCabe says their objective is simple.
“To not lose is the best outcome for me.
“We know it’s going to be a massive game, we know how good they are – they’re the second based team in the world.
“But for sure, we’ll be ready for it.
“We want to be a team that are difficult to play against, we want to be a team that people hate playing against, and really give them that fight.
“If you go back to October, we really showed glimpses of how we can play as well. Yes, we can do better on the low block, but how exciting we are going forward too, with the Denise O’Sullivans, the Heather Paynes to be able to do that.
“We have out qualities and we know what we’re good at, and we’ll be taking that into the game.”
It’s Vera Pauw’s 20th game in charge of Ireland, however the Ireland boss is annoyed it’s taken her this long to reach that milestone.
“Two and a half years in charge – 20 games. I’m proud of it and it’s fantastic, but how many games did Sweden play in the last two and half years? 55 or so? That says it all. UEFA, I hope you’re listening.
“I’m really, really proud – we are all proud, the players and the rest of the staff, that every single game we became better under these circumstances, and that shows the talent we have in the squad and the determination we have in the squad from the players.
“That is so contagious to us staff, for us to give our all to them. That is what we make of it and we are growing – even though we’ve only played 20 games in two and a half years.”
Ireland’s rivals for a playoff spot in Group A have a far easier task this evening.
Finland entertain a Georgia team that have conceded 35 goals in their five games to date.